1. US Insurance Intermediary System Management Mechanism
The United States’ constraints on insurance intermediaries are mainly reflected in the insurance laws of various states or special provisions in the laws, self-regulatory rules, and insurance intermediary contracts. As each state has its independent legislative power, the legislative management of insurance intermediaries is very different in scope and specific content. The self-regulatory codes that insurance intermediaries need to abide by include: the National Life Insurance Association Code of Ethics, the American Association of Chartered Life Insurance Dealers and the Chartered Financial Advisors Code of Professional Ethics, and the Million Dollar Roundtable Code of Professional Ethics. The United States adopts a dual management mechanism of the insurance intermediary system that combines government management and industry self-discipline.
The federal government has established the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (National Association of Insurance Supervisors) to coordinate the national insurance business. The association has an insurance regulation information system, which designs some model laws and guiding recommendations for states to supervise when necessary. Insurance intermediaries, for adoption by states. The state government has a special regulatory agency, and the insurance supervisor is responsible for the direct management and supervision of insurance intermediaries. They are responsible for identifying the qualifications and conditions that intermediaries must possess, managing their sales practices, and imposing penalties on their violations.
2. The insurance agency system in the United States
Insurance agents play a central role in the US insurance intermediary market. More than 1 million insurance agents represent businesses in all walks of life and are an important source of business for life and non-life insurance companies.
(1) The qualification of the insurance agent is established. Insurance agents are divided into life insurance agents, accident and health insurance agents, and property liability insurance agents according to the different sales businesses. Agents who want to practice must pass the corresponding examinations to obtain professional qualifications. In New York State, for example, individual practitioners must pass a written examination administered by the Director of Insurance and complete a preparatory course approved by the Director of Insurance. The Director of Insurance may hold a hearing on the qualifications of an individual agent to determine whether he or she is qualified to practice. In addition, those who have obtained the qualification of licensed property and liability insurance dealers and are considered to have a certain professional and technical level do not need to take the exam.
(2) Rules of conduct for insurance agents. In most states, insurance agents must be licensed before they can formally practice. According to the number of insurance companies represented, there are professional agents and independent agents in the United States. An independent agent has an independent status and can act for several insurance companies at the same time. A professional agent can only act for one insurance company or a certain insurance group.
In life insurance, American insurance companies mainly rely on professional agents, because it is suitable for the characteristics of a wide range of life insurance policies and a large business volume, which helps agents to familiarize themselves with the company’s policies and underwriting procedures more quickly and establish relationships with underwriters. close relationship.In the field of non-life insurance. American insurance companies rely more on independent agents, who represent several companies, can issue policies, collect premiums, accept business can be distributed among the insurance companies of their choice, and have exclusive rights to solicit renewals power, and obtain commissions from insurance companies for the business it solicits according to the type of insurance and the renewal of initial insurance.
(3) Penalties for insurance agents. Penalties for insurance agents who violate the law and other guidelines generally include financial penalties and license revocation.
3. The insurance brokerage system in the United States
Insurance brokers in the United States can be divided into those who sell property accident insurance and those who sell life insurance. Some states in the United States do not legally have life insurance brokers, while others allow insurance brokers to act as insurance agents at the same time, and only a few states are pure brokers. In the US life insurance industry, “agents who market insurance for more than one company” are called brokers. In a property accident, an independent agent is called a broker when he is licensed to represent more than 15 companies. Its customers are generally large industrial and commercial enterprises. Most state laws require insurance brokers to pass prescribed qualifying exams, but there are marked differences in the difficulty of qualifying exams.
To ensure that brokers know the insurance business, some states require applicants to complete a formal study program or complete a course before qualifying. Other states have exams that are so easy that they can be passed without special study. Every state in the United States has licensing requirements for brokers. License applicants must meet professional qualifications and minimum age requirements. State laws impose financial penalties and license revocation on insurance brokers who violate insurance laws or other laws.
4. Analysis of the American Insurance Intermediary System
From the above introduction, we can see that the United States has adopted a unique insurance intermediary system model in which insurance agents and insurance brokers coexist, and established an intermediary system with insurance agents as the main body. This is in line with the US intermediary system environment. The highly developed market economy of the United States, the perfect and sound insurance market, the large number of insurance companies and the large and varied insurance products they provide, the complete legal system and management system, and the huge preference of citizens for standardized agency services, The promotion of agency system in the American insurance industry provides fertile soil.
The agency system in the United States is a multi-level and multi-type agency system, which provides insurance companies with a variety of sales methods to choose from. In the United States, life insurance mainly relies on the professional agency system, while non-life insurance mainly relies on the independent agency system. They respectively fit the characteristics of the two types of insurance business and have made great contributions to the expansion of the insurance company’s market. To ensure the effective operation of the agency system and safeguard the interests of policyholders, the United States emphasizes the responsibility of insurance companies for the behavior of insurance agents and attaches great importance to strengthening the control and management of insurance companies over agents. The agency system, the branch company system, and the direct reporting system can be used by insurance companies of different scales. There are comprehensive agency contracts under various management systems, and the rights and responsibilities of the agent are linked to ensure the standardization of the agent’s behavior.